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How far can you travel down the road before the kids ask, “do you have anything to eat?” I know when my kids were younger, it wasn’t very far. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve learned to grab a selection of road trip snacks to munch on between stops and between meals. These healthy snacks your kids will actually crave are easy to shop for, easy to pack, and even healthy.
Additionally, these easy snacks are also easy to pack. This means no need to stop at gas stations for junk food along the way. However, even if you do need to fuel up on a long road trip, healthy options are becoming more available at the convenience store. Plus, nearly all of
Cookies & Crackers
Yes, that’s right, you read cookies. However, these cookies by Emmy’s Organics are seriously my new favorite travel snacks.
First, they are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. They are considered super-food, but taste delicious, like one of those homemade energy bites (except you don’t have to make these!) Certain varieties are Paleo-friendly or Grain-Free. The cookies are soft and chewy, yet hold together well and wouldn’t make a lot of crumbs. This is definitely a treat you can feel good about giving your kids. And because they hold up well in their package, you can see bringing these on the long car rides, on a flight, or out for a hike.
Find them in your local stores, or order them online here. My daughter called them “circles of joy!”
Along with these cookies as a great snack for your family vacation, certain crackers are a good choice.
Back to Nature makes whole-grain plant-based snacks. Your local grocery store may also have it’s own line of whole grain crackers. Pick up snack packs of peanut butter to spread on the crackers. We’ve stopped at a scenic rest stop for a light lunch of crackers, peanut butter, cheese, and fruit. Not only do they make great car snacks, these items together could be a whole meal, especially for little kids.
Nut Thins are another favorite that is made from almonds and are gluten-free.
A few more cracker options:
- Graham crackers
- Animal Crackers
Fresh fruits are always a good go-to for road trip snacks. These are not too messy and don’t create a lot of waste.
- Grapes – get smaller grapes, or slice them at home, for young children to avoid choking.
- Pre-Cut Apple Slices
- Pre-cut Mangos
All of these will do well with some ice packs in a small cooler for a long drive. Bananas will turn quicker than any of the others, so eat those first!
Notice I kept juicier fruits off this list, like oranges, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. While they are some of my favorites, they might get messy in the back seat. No need for sticky clean-up after. Of course, eating some of these fruits with paper towels handy is a great idea at a scenic overlook.
More fruit ideas include things like dried fruits, smash packs, and chocolate-covered fruit. Look up these items:
- SmashPack Real Fruit Smoothie Squeeze Packs
- Bare Naturals Dried Fruit
- Stoneridge Orchards Chocolate covered fruit
I included links to Amazon, but many of these can be found at your local grocery store as well.
Other ideas for easy road trip snacks include dry snacks. Some of these you can make on your own and are probably better than what you would buy in-store.
For example, homemade trail mix can be easily thrown together with some healthy dry cereal like Cheerios, dried fruit, nuts, and sunflower seeds. If you want to add a little bit of chocolate, a treat the whole family will love, go ahead and add in some M&Ms. Unlike store-bought trail mix, you can control the amount so that you’re not adding too much sugar to the kids strapped into the backseat.
If you opt for homemade granola or trail mix, sort them into individual snack bags. This is a great way to keep portion control in check.
Protein bars are okay occasionally, as long as they’re not filled with added sugar. Younger kids don’t need the amount included in many of the energy bars, so be sure to read the labels. Homemade granola bars might be a better option.
Veggies are some of the best road trip snacks, especially if you buy the pre-cut versions at the grocery store.
- Snack Peppers or pre-sliced peppers
- Carrot Sticks
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Cucumber slices
- Snap Peas
Throw in some snack packs of hummus or cream cheese as an easy way to up the flavor and protein. Hummus is full of healthy fats too, which keeps the hunger at bay longer. Guacamole now comes in snack packs too.
Do your kids crave something salty? Don’t go for the messy, less than healthy chips. Try these:
- Lightly Salted or Unsalted Mixed Nuts
- Roasted chickpeas
Eggs and Dairy
Get your daily dose of protein with these healthy, easy road trip snacks.
- String Cheese
- Hard-Boiled Eggs – you can buy preboiled eggs at the store. No need to do it yourself.
- Shelf-stable milk – Most grocery stores have milk in boxes (similar to a juice box) in the coffee and creamer aisle.
- Yogurt – Plain is better to control the sugar content. Add in your own mixed fruit and a little bit of honey
Let’s not forget to hydrate on the road! Drinking plenty of fluids is certainly a balancing act when you’re driving. You want to stay hydrated without having to stop for a restroom every 20 miles. We usually bring reusable water bottles and a 5-gallon jug of water for refills.
You might also consider pre-made smoothies, and blended juices made with coconut water.
By the way, I’m in love with the USB rechargeable portable blenders. Most cars come with USB inputs now. You can easily fill one up with fruits and water, or milk, for a delicious healthy smoothie.
What does your family eat on road trips? Comment below and let me know what I’ve missed!
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